Android 13: 3 big things we learned about the next Android update this week

Android Logo
(Image credit: Google)

It's the end of a busy week in tech, with the iPhone SE (2022) release, Xiaomi 12 and Samsung Galaxy A53 5G launches, and lots and lots of Android 13 news to parse through too.

News about the next Android update was relatively light on the ground - until it wasn't, and that cut-off point was roughly in the last five days. We've now heard quite a few things about Android 13.

In case you don't read the tech news every day (and we wouldn't blame you), here are the three key things you might have missed this week when it comes to Android 13.

1. A possible unveiling date

This is the biggest piece of information: Google IO 2022 has been confirmed for mid-May, and based on precedent, this is when we'd expect Android 13 to get unveiled for the public.

At the keynote conference on May 10, Google will likely run us through the key flagship features of Android 13, though it might leave some of the smaller ones to be discovered later.

This won't be the release date for Android 13, and we'll have to wait until near the end of the year for that - though we could see betas kick off shortly after Google IO.

A Sony Xperia 5 III held in someone's hand against a wall

(Image credit: TechRadar)

2. No more notification spam

Are you sick of constant dings from certain apps, especially ones you barely use? Well Android 13 might be unlucky for some apps which constantly do this.

Google has confirmed that in Developer Preview 2, the newest early-days version of Android 13 designed so developers can see what the new software is like (so they can build their apps around it), notifications are changing. Now, apps have to explicitly ask for your permission before they send you loads of notifications.

This probably won't stop your constant WhatsApp alerts when annoying people repeatedly share pictures of their boring dogs in group chats, but it'll be useful for those apps which keep nagging you to use their services.

3. Big tablet news

This has been a great week for tablet software, following on from news that Google is going to ensure tablets get circulated higher-quality apps in the Play Store (which isn't technically Android 13 news, but we thought we should share anyway).

No - as spotted by tech software writer Mishaal Rahman, Android 13's Developer Preview brings a big change for tablets, in the form of a recently-used-app task bar like iPadOS' similar feature.

This means that, instead of having to close one app to open another, you can simply bring up the task bar to jump to your frequently-used apps. This should be a useful feature for multi-taskers but also general users.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.